Have you ever heard of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa? It is "a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.'" It originated in China, although it was outlawed there in 1999. The Inland Northwest Falun Dafa also make a mean float. Here you can see their lotus flower float, which won the Best Theme trophy at the Pullman Lentil Festival parade in 2006. I know that if I were looking for inner peace, I'd like to be associated with an organization that makes good parade floats.
My first run of 2009 was not bad. An easy 5.3 miles. This carried me out of Pullman, almost to the Idaho border, but not quite. Meanwhile, over on the other coast, it carried me from Calais, Maine, halfway to Bucksport. The Virtual Run Across America is giving 10 miles for every actual mile run. So my 5.3 actual miles was good for 53 virtual miles. The plan is to allow people to cover more territory, but I, personally, think it's cheating. But NikeMom put it together, so we're playing by her rules.